Friday, May 27, 2011

School's Out!

Yesterday was our last day, and I'm looking for great suggestions for my summer  reading list.  I like the kind of books that you just can't put down.  What's your favorite summer read????

Thursday, May 26, 2011

What I've learned!

Life in Special education is having a linky party on "What I've learned this year."  

Well...I've learned that you get what you pay for.  I have been dragging my heels when it comes to buying a good rug for my classroom.  The good ones are soooo expensive!   I actually bought two rugs early this school year.  The first one was a large remnant, but it started to fray terribly on the edges so I got rid of it.  Then I bought a bound rug from Walmart.  It was nice ( for about 1 month), but then it started to wrinkle and bunch up.  See my post about that rug:   So I have broken down and ordered a real classroom rug this time.  It is a factory second but the manufacturer assures me that I won't be able to tell.  It was half the price of the original price.  Here is a picture: 
It is an alphabet rug but the letters are supposed to be hidden.  I'll blog later and let you know how it works out!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Seat Sack Feedback Please!!!!

I love these Seat Sacks.  The kids keep their writing folder, silent reading book, and magic slates in them so they can retrieve them quickly without having to rummage through their desk.  The problem is that they only last a couple of years, and then I have to replace them.  With shipping, they are now running around $10.00 a piece.  I've tried a couple different kinds, but they just don't last.  I actually looked into reinventing one myself, but it was just too complicated with patents and prototypes and I gave up.  Anybody have any  great alternatives???

Saturday, May 14, 2011

End of the Year Linky Party

What's the Buzz is having an end-of the year linky party:

On the last day of school, I give every student a bucket of sidewalk chalk.  I write a note to attach to each one requesting them to use the chalk to practice double digit addition and subtraction as well as draw roads and cities on their driveways labeled with lots of road signs so they can keep thinking about words.  I always tell them, "if you don't use it, you lose it."  We also have a movie and treat party.  I try to order movies online that are classics that they might not ever see.  I just got Sandlot, Old Yeller, Harry and the Henderson's and Matilda. I can't decide which one to show this year!

First garage sale of the season!

Every summer I hit the garage sales in search of books for my classroom.  I look for "like new" books that I can use for reader's workshop.  That way when a child brings me a book that is falling apart, I don't have to feel bad about throwing it away.  Today I went to my first sale and was rummaging through a box of children books when I heard the most awful sound....crunnnnnchhhhhh!  I looked up and a woman had backed up right into my new little car.  Needless to say, I was out of the mood to do any more shopping and went home.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Already prepping for fall!

What ideas are already rolling around in your head for fall. Please share at

Every summer I work on something that has really bugged me during the year. This year, once and for all, I am going to do something about the random beeping coming from my Beat the Clock books. See my post on Beat the clock books here:
I'm teaching a lesson and all of a sudden I hear "beep...beeeeeep....beeeeep! It drives me insane; I can't ignore it, and I have to go and adjust the books so they don't beep. When I got the books they came with a plastic cover over the timer. Foolish me thought they were packaging material and threw them all away. They were extremely important because the books have to lay against each other on the bookshelf, and the cover keeps them from setting off the timer! BUT...I think I have a solution. Last night I purchased two of these wire racks that have 11 sections in which to put the Beat the Clock books in. Cross that one of my list of things to do!

Product Details

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Magic Boards

I love, love, love these magic boards from Lakeshore Learning. I use them for so many things. When I'm doing a lesson on the smartboard, they are way to keep all the kids involved and not just the one student coming up to the board. I did a lesson on noting details today, and after the students listened to a story on the smartboard, I had them write down one detail that they remembered from the story. We then shared them, and then revealed the details on the smartboard. I use them for all kinds of responding activities. When we did fact and opinion, I would reveal an example on the smartboard and then they would write fact or opinion on their boards. What I like best is that they are always ready to use. The kids keep them in their seat sacks, and the stylus is attached so there is no searching for a pencil, and we don't waste paper either! Way better than dry erase boards because you never have to worry about someone complaining that their marker ran dry in the middle of your lesson! I wrote a grant to a local business so that I could purchase these boards. Here is a link to check them out.

You can also purchase math and language arts activity cards to use with them.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Fun Q & A

This is a fun Q & A sponsored by

1. did you watch the royal wedding?
I watched it while I got ready in the morning. The Royals are so proper... and boring!
2. tea and crumpets or coffee and a scone?
That would be tea and a scone for me!
3 who's cuter..prince william or prince harry?
Well, neither one is my type, but if I had to choose it would have to be Harry!
4. can you speak in a english accent?
I don't know...let me try...nope!
5. do you own a fancy hat?
No, but I know where to get mom is a member of the Red Hat Society.
6. would you rather live in a castle or an english cottage?
Definitely a cottage for me. I can picture it perfectly!
7. how old were you when prince charles and princess diana got married? were you even born?
What year was that?
8. have you found your prince?
I have and he treats me like I am his princess!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Time Out Corner

Mrs. Randall is having a classroom management linky party...check it out here:

Last summer I read the book Magic 1-2-3 and it has transformed my classroom. It's a very simple concept where you count children for behaviors you want to stop. If they get to a count of 3, you need to have a time out place for them to go to. I have time-out nook where they go for 7 or 8 minutes (1 minute for every year of their age), and in that nook is an ABC's of good citizenship poster for them to read. Rarely do students go beyond the count of 2!!!

Teacher Appreciation Linky Party

Learning with Mrs. Parker is having a linky party and you can participate here:

On the of the most touching teacher gifts I got was a box full of love. It was an empty box decorated by my student with the most darling poem attached. It's just an empty box that's full of love from my student. Here is a you-tube version:

and here is another version: Box Full of Love

Here it is adapted for mothers Day!